Foster parents will have to pay bedroom tax but not parents of pupils at Eton

Sometimes I despair.

According to the DWP, foster parents who have a ‘spare’ bedroom they use for foster children will be hit by the government’s bedroom tax – but not parents of pupils at Eton.

The bedroom tax, which is being introduced in April 2013 as part of the government’s ‘reforms’ of housing benefits, will mean that a household that has an extra room for a current or potential foster child will be treated as ‘under-occupying’  (see here on page 8).

However, a household with children at a boarding school – such as Eton for example – will not have to pay any bedroom tax at all.

Why is seemingly nobody up in arms about this?

I always thought British people, regardless of our political differences, prided ourselves on our keen sense of fairness. Obviously I was wrong.

Just when exactly did we as a nation stop being outraged by such clear and open inequality and injustice?


Here’s a petition against the bedroom tax:

Stop the Housing Benefit attack (commonly known as the ‘Bedroom Tax’)

And for more general information about the bedroom tax, see here:


18 thoughts on “Foster parents will have to pay bedroom tax but not parents of pupils at Eton

  1. Interesting – I hadn’t registered this one. To be fair (ignoring the stupid amount of extra admin which will presumably cost about the same as the savings they make..) there are at least plans in place to cover the gap for foster parents and those with adapted accommodation. Divorced parents who are trying to parent their children together get a rawer deal. A parent who has their children 3/4 days per week but is not the Child Benefit recipient only has allowance for a 1 bedroom property. I appreciate it’s a difficult issue to manage, and with one child that may even just be manageable, but in many cases it will effectively prevent overnight stays with one parent – surely not ideal.


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  3. i think that milk chic has raised grave concerns re accommodation for children of divorce and the ridiculous situation re foster carers and disabled people i think this governt has actually began to believe their own rhetoric and underlying messag which is that all benefit claimants are abusing the system and not really looking at the causes of claims but at the simple financial implications to the gov of these claims dont they realise by deliberately putting people into debt then labelling them as irresponsible for being in debt they are being guilty of at least gross hypocrisy and possibly at most some breach of trust with the population


  4. I can see what you’re getting at, but I’m trying to think of a scenario in which someone’s income is low enough to qualify for housing benefit yet also has a child at boarding school. The only scenario I can come up with is a child on scholarship, which I guess would indicate that the family needs the exemption. Mind you, everyone needs the exemption: this policy simply shouldn’t exist.


      • I totally understand everyones views the bedroom tax it does seem very unfair. But why is noboby looking at it from the families waiting for a home. I have a 5year old daughter and we live with her father my ex parnter in a one bedroom flat I have been on the housing register for 4 years trying to get a place of my own for me and my daughter. I have been told I have not got a chance of getting a property as the list is so long and our only chance is to do a mutual exchange which would mean still having to live together we excepted this as our only option as i can not afford private rent. and have been on swap websites for the last few years which as you can imagine was very hard to find an exchange as not may people wanted to downsize. when we heard about the bedroom tax it gave us the ray of hope we so desperately needed yes it is still proving hard to complete the swap but atlest we now have people interested in ours and a little bit of hope that my child could one day have a bedroom of her own.


      • The problem is that there hasn’t been enough social/council house building for over 30y. The solution is to build them. The bedroom tax is a very peculiar solution because there aren’t enough one bedroom properties. Of course, I fervently hope that your child (and you) get proper housing for your needs and if there are some winners from the current travesty of a policy, that’s good but it doesn’t justify the strategy which TBH is just a blind for the gov’ts attempt to undermine Social Housing Associations.


      • Yes I totally agree with you. To be honest the bedroom tax has been so badly thought out, its kind of a no go area. But I do believe something needed to be done for the god knows how many people of working age whos children have grown up and flown the nest and they stay living in 2 or 3 bedroom houses getting everything paid for them so down sizeing doesnt even cross their minds. Everyones circumstances are different and I do feel for everyone affected regardless of if they deserve the bedrooms or not it is still their home. They say their isnt enough one bed but I am sure if the housing associations work together, instead of have the opinion they seem to have of only careing for their own residents, that many house holds will be able to receive a home more appropriate for their needs.


    • As far as I understand it, the bedroom tax won’t only affect people who get housing benefit. If you are working and you live in a council or housing association house, and you pay your full rent because you are not entitled to housing benefit, your rent will actually increase by 14% if you have one spare bedroom, and 25% if you have two or more spare bedrooms, so it affects everyone in social housing who has spare rooms.


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  6. I would disagree with Hanna’s comment, If she is living in a partnership which is intolerable she must leave, and the council have a duty of care and responsibility, I am a community champion and I come across this often, and one of the reasons council list are quite long, is because relationships breakdown and if either partner is homeless then the council regulations state they must use their powers or whatever necessary to accommodate either partner excuse the pun. Also who is just your landlord is the council or a housing association, Many councils no longer own hosuing estates etc, they are often in the control of Housing associations, Who have tighter controls on homelessness then councils do.


    • Yes you are right, I have been tempted to go to council a few times and say I am going to be homeless and need housing asap but you dont actually get housed, everyone I know has been put in a very discusting b&bs normally in a different area to where they currently live and have been left there for up to a year before finally having a home. I always end up decideing not to go to the council as I cant do that to my little girl: take her from her nice clean home where she is happy to somewhere horrible where we would still be sharing a bedroom she just wouldnt have all her nice stuff or her Daddy. Think its hard for any parent when you know your ex partner is a great parent to move out with the children and thats when you know your moving somewhere nice that would soon be a home. I am with a housing association except I am not as everything is in exes name.


      • I think I am missing something here, if you are in a housing association home you are both equal and responsible for the property, Does not matter whose name is on the rent book, if your partner died god forbid you would inherit the tenancy, It seems to me you are quite happy to remain with your partner because he is fantastic with your child or children. That is not reasonable cause, what is your relationship like, how will it affect your daughter, now and in the future, Can your partner not move out? So many questions. If you want to discuss further without giving to much away on here, you can always in box me on Facebook


      • I do not have facebook sorry. I have no right to the property they know I live here but that is as far as it goes. Yes he is good with my child but thats not why I stay I do pretty much as much now as I would as a single parent. If he did die I really dont no what would happen the fact I have lived here for 5 and a half years and my child was born into this address must stand for something. You know I cant even ring and report any repairs. I stay because I dont wont to unsettled my child as like I said have no idea where they would put us and its normally not very nice. We are good friends but I do wonder how it will affect my daughter she is going to be confused about how a relationship should be and in her eyes a woman job is to do everything, I wont more for her when she is older. Really dont no what to do just wish it was easier.


  7. O and yes building more would seem like the answer but with what money and where. The problem is from selling the council houses to cheap for to long


    • The money really isn’t the problem, it is the lack of political will. The Tories don’t want to build more because the scarcity is pushing up rents and house prices to the advantage of their wealthy friends. Think about the amount of top-up housing benefit that is paid to low-waged families. It would be cheaper to build new housing and rent at a fair rate… the initial building costs would soon be recouped.


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